Le Bretask, Dowgate
   There was a house of this name in the parish of All Hallows the Less in Dowgate Ward mentioned in the Husting Rolls 62 (102) and 76 (262) (Cal. L. Bk. F. p. 1 note).
   In 1334 Nicholas de Farndon gave it under the name "le Bretasse" in Thames Street to Thos. de Porkele (Ct. H.W. I. 397), from whom it had passed by purchase prior to 1343 into the possession of Richard de Basyngstoke, with the wharf adjoining (Cal. L. Bk. F. 97) (Ct. H.W. I. 567).
   It is described in a view taken by the men of Dowgate Ward at the request of Richard de Basyngstoke in 18 Ed. III. 1343-4, as supported on eight posts driven into the soil of the City, Richard de Basingstoke being anxious to ascertain whether the posts were considered prejudicial to the Commonalty, so that, if necessary, he might transfer to them another piece of land in compensation. After the view it was decided that the posts might remain where they were, and that the Commonalty should receive a parcel of land in exchange (Cal. L. Bk. F. p. 97).
   The word "bretask" comes from the Latin "bretaschia," a "stockade," and "bretachiare," to "fortify with stockades," which gives the French word "bretasse," "bratticed," and "bretasse," "brettassee," "bretassy," defined in the N.E.D. as "having embattlements on both sides."
   In mediaeval records applications were frequently made for permission to fortify and embattle (bretachiare) buildings, and the "bretask" was a name that might well be given to a house that had been fortified in this way.
   There was another house in the City called "La Bretask" near the Tower. See below.
   See Bretask Lane.

A Dictionary of London. . 1918.

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  • Le Bretask, Tower —    There seem to have been at least two houses bearing this name in the City in the 14th century.    One near the Tower and the other at Dowgate.    The one near the Tower seems to have been erected at the expense of the City about the year 1339 …   Dictionary of London

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